Comfort Food Makes the Best Leftovers

Leftovers get a mixed review in our house:  Joel won’t eat them unless there’s pasta involved, Madison will eat them if I disguise them or they’re Asian-food related and I only like them in wintertime.  The pets take what they can get, (except the cat – she’s pickier than Joel.)

I pack my lunch three out of four work days and for eight months out of the year that means a salad.  My salads are so well-known that everyone thinks I should start a salad-themed food truck.  Maybe…..Anyway, my salads generally consist of tons of seasonal fruits and veggies, a protein such as chicken, tuna or salami and either feta or goat cheese.  I top them with sunflower seeds, homemade croutons or nuts – macadamia and walnuts are my favorite.  And my dressing is almost always an apple-cider vinaigrette.  However, most of these ingredients are out of season during the winter months and those that are still available just don’t taste the same – the tomatoes are mushy, the lettuce seems soggier and the onions are tangier.

So, from December through February I generally pack leftovers.  Overall I think winter foods are better suited to leftovers-for-lunch anyway.  We grill all summer long and I like to make fresh, seasonal side dishes like salad, grilled vegetables and such.  We also eat fewer carbs (rice, pasta, potatoes) in the summer (we save those for dessert – fresh fruit cobblers, pies and ice cream.)  And, I’m not really a big fan of cold next day meat so I try to get the portions just right to avoid having any extra meat.  (Leftovers usually go to the dog.  He loves summer!)

But back to winter leftovers.  I’m a big fan of eating seasonally, and I typically make heavier foods, i.e. casseroles, chili, pasta dishes such as macaroni & cheese and lasagna, and roasted things for dinner.  (This includes meat and vegetables.)  All of these dinners are tasty, homey and hearty and the next day when it’s cold, dark, wet and dreary outside I can warm up my leftovers for comfort.

Besides, I like the fact that taking leftovers means I spend less time in the kitchen each morning.  My salads can take up to 30 minutes to prepare and let’s face it – who doesn’t mind a little extra duvet time when it’s still dark and cold outside.

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One comment on “Comfort Food Makes the Best Leftovers

  1. This Italian Family
    January 13, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    Leftovers always get eaten at our house. I don’t have time to cook every single night so every recipe I make cooks enough for 6 and we split the meal into two nights (there are three of us eating most nights). That way I only have to cook every other day – saves lots of time and money.

    I do hear ya with the comfort food in the winter, though! My golly, this is definitely the time of year for that. Gotta love it! 🙂

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